Star Wars and the Western

| Filed under: Movies

“Westerns didn’t die, they were murdered. By Altman, by Peckinpah, by the revisionists. Around the time of Vietnam, suddenly there couldn’t be heroes. The righteous revisionists took great delight in demeaning and defiling and perverting anybody that ever wore a badge, a uniform, or moved west.

And something else happened: the western got absorbed. Star Wars was like a Borden Chase western, with two uneasy friends, except with rockets and spaceships instead of horses and wagons. Setting it in space worked. And today, kids don’t know from Westerns.”

- Andrew Fenady (take from John Wayne: The Life and Legend)

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of a space western. With Han Solo as the cowboy and the Millennium Falcon his trusty steed. Mos Eisley Cantina his saloon, and the vast reaches of space his Monument Valley. 

And then I remembered back to one of Drew Struzan’s first poster concepts for George Lucas. Sure as hell looks like an old west wanted poster to me.